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					Montgomery Bus Boycott
• In the Southern States there was a
  policy of segregation on buses.
• This involved whites sitting in the
  front and blacks sitting nearest to
  the front had to give up their seats
  to any whites that were standing.
• On 1st December,
  1955, Rosa Parks, a
  middle-aged tailor's
  assistant from
  Alabama, who was
  tired after a hard
  day's work, refused
  to give up her seat
  to a white man.
• She was arrested.
• After her arrest,
  Martin Luther King,
  a minister at the
  local Baptist Church,
  helped organize
  protests against bus
  segregation. He was
  joined by other
  campaigners for civil
  rights, including
  Ralph David
  Abernathy .
• The idea was that the black people in
  Montgomery should refuse to use the buses.
• For thirteen months the 17,000 black people
  in Montgomery walked to work or took lifts.
• Dr King emphasised that the protest must be
• We are here, we are here this evening
  because we're tired now. Now let us say that
  we are not here advocating violence. We have
  overcome that……. We believe in the teachings
  of Jesus. The only weapon that we have in our
  hands this evening is the weapon of
  protest………. There will be no crosses burned
  at any bus stops in Montgomery. There will be
  no white persons pulled out of their homes
  and taken out to some distant road and
• Blacks were not so lucky
• King was arrested for leading the
  boycott and fined $500.
• His house was fire-bombed.
• Others involved in the Montgomery Bus
  Boycott also suffered from harassment
  and intimidation, but the protest
• Eventually, the loss of revenue and a
  decision by the Supreme Court on 13th
  November, 1956, forced the
  Montgomery Bus Company to give in.
• The following month the buses in
  Montgomery were desegregated.
• King became famous, he was a natural
  leader and became chief spokes person
  for the bus boycott.
• His sermons boosted morale and kept
  the protest going.
• As a result he became leader of the
  Southern Christian Leadership
  Conference SCLC which organised non
  violent action to defy segregation laws.